I was recently invited to embark on the culinary adventure of a lifetime with the world renowned cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu. It was a three day total immersion experience as part of the school’s Bleu Ribbon Kitchen enthusiast cooking workshops. I had an amazing experience learning new skills from professional Le Cordon Bleu chefs in Dallas and experiencing cooking in a sleek commercial kitchen.
Bleu Ribbon Kitchen workshops are 2-day, 3-day, and 5-day culinary courses offered in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada, Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando, Pasadena, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Seattle, Washington, and St. Louis.
The 3-day workshops, like the one that I participated in, give the gourmet home cook an adventure into international cuisine by focusing on a particular genre of food. You can explore your favorite region and learn a new ethnic style of cooking. How fun is that? The genre for my course was “A Taste of Mexico” which just so happens to be my family’s favorite.
When I arrived at Le Cordon Bleu in Dallas on the first day, I was a bit intimidated because of my awareness of the school’s reputation for excellence. I feared that maybe the chefs wouldn’t be friendly or patient enough and that I wouldn’t feel confident in their kitchen. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I was greeted by charismatic, smiling chefs and a swag bag of goodies including my very own chefs jacket, apron, and hat. It was fun to wear chef’s attire! I was also given a bound book of the recipes that we’d be cooking and several pages of other helpful information. A table of snacks, goodies and beverages was available to me for breakfast and for use throughout the day. The Blue Ribbon Kitchen chefs sure do know how to make a girl feel welcome!
I spent the next three days immersed in the preparation of dishes native to Mexico. I got a crash course in the historical origin of dishes, insight into the Mexican culture, and the opportunity to learn how to cook the way that the natives do. I discovered fabulous new flavor combinations and time-tested cooking techniques. I even worked with ingredients that I hadn’t heard of and I handled peppers and spices that I never would have had the gaul to cook with before. I even cooked cactus! Who can say that they’ve cooked & eaten cactus? This girl can.
The chefs were a delight. They were very knowledgeable and eager to answer any and all of my questions. The Le Cordon Bleu motto is that there is no such thing as a stupid question which was great because I definitely had some. Our class size was small so the students received true hands on instruction. There’s nothing quite like that! At times I felt like I was in a real restaurant preparing a meal for real guests. It was thrilling!
I have taken several cooking classes in the past but they fail in comparison to the Bleu Ribbon Kitchen experience. I learned more in those three days at Le Cordon Bleu than I have in my years of cooking combined. My knife skills improved, my confidence grew and the three days flew by.
One perk that my family thoroughly enjoyed from the workshop is the food that I got to take home each day. At the end of class, the students and chefs dine together. It’s our chance to try out all of the dishes that we just created. I can’t even explain how cool that is! I wish that I could do that every day. Upon eating, we got to pack up the leftovers and take them home.
What was my husband’s favorite food that I brought home? Churros! I’d never made them before and they were a huge hit with the mister and his sweet tooth.
Another favorite of mine was flan. It’s a beautiful dessert! There’s no way that I would have tried to make flan at home on my own. However, after this workshop I feel confident enough to try anything in my kitchen. That is what I got the most of my Le Cordon Bleu experience . . . courage and confidence.
That is priceless.